There used to be a time when tennis players were forced to stick to a stringent dress code. The restrictions have gone away for the most part, although Wimbledon is known for being incredibly strict. For the casual tennis player, there are fewer rules than ever before. With all that said, there is still a dress code to keep in mind, and some general suggestions so that players feel comfortable.
Below is a breakdown of what to wear from head to toe. This is what professional players wear, and casual players can benefit from the same style.
Headwear comes in handy for a variety of reasons in tennis. Some players can’t go without wearing a hat or visor, especially if they are outdoors. This helps to block any sun from becoming distracting, or to protect the face from ultraviolet rays.
These options also work well when it comes to keeping sweat under control. A player can either stick with a hat or visor, or opt for something like a sweatband or a bandanna to help with this issue as well. Any person can sweat too much that it becomes distracting, but those with longer hair seem to be particularly susceptible.
Of course, there is nothing against just going with nothing at all on the head. Some people do not want anything distracting, and that is why they will go out there without wearing anything.
Men almost always wear some short sleeve shirt in tennis. It can either be a shirt with a standard crew neck, or a polo style. The polo style is a more traditional look and one that some clubs still require to a certain degree. Fancier clubs might say that shirts need a collar.
Fabric improvements have made tennis tops so much more comfortable than in the past. They are made of lightweight, breathable material in almost any case, so players do not feel like they are restricted at all. Some will have a tailored look to have shorter sleeves so that they are not restrictive in any way.
A less popular style of a top for men is a cut off sleeve shirt. It is not always accepted in some locations, but Rafael Nadal made the look particularly popular in recent memory. It is a way to keep cool and have the arms completely unrestricted, which comes in handy for some players.
Women have a little bit more variety when looking at tops. They can wear all the top listed for men, but they can also use a tank top or even a dress. They both allow a player to stay cool during a match, and it also helps fight against any unsightly tan lines.
In the old days, pants were worn on a tennis court for men. Things have changed, but on very rare occasions will a male tennis player wear anything other than shorts. The length has varied quite a bit over the years, ranging from below the knee to very short. The trend right now is a little more tailored and on the shorter side, allowing players to have a great range of motion in any playing conditions.
Women will either opt for a dress, a skirt, or shorts. A dress and skirt is a more traditional way to dress for tennis, and a lot of women feel that it is very comfortable to play in as well. Shorts are a little more casual, and they are usually pretty short overall.
In colder weather, a player might opt for some warm-up pants to wear during that period. As long as a player does not feel too restricted, they will continue wearing those pants until they feel like they are too warm.
A tennis racquet is very important, but most tennis players would say that shoes are the second most important piece of equipment to invest in. A player relies heavily on moving around on the court and covering everything. The player needs to feel comfortable in a pair of shoes, and it needs to perform well to give up her confidence.
Tennis shoes used to be pretty standard in mostly all white colors. These days, the restrictions have been lifted considerably. It is easy to find tennis shoes in nearly any color, and many different brands have joined in on coming up with some creative ideas.
The sole of a tennis shoe is important depending on the playing surface. There are hard court, clay court, and grass court shoes available for players so that they have the proper footing. If a person is playing on one particular surface predominantly, it is worth the extra time and effort to get those specific shoes.
Socks also play a pretty big role, as most will opt for a slightly longer cut length and a good amount of cushioning. Players are on the court for hours at a time, and having that level of protection can cut down on foot problems. The higher cut of socks prevents any rubbing against a shoe. It also helps on clay courts, as clay is less likely to fall into the socks and cause discomfort.
The most common additional accessory players wear is a wristband on one or both arms. This is to keep the hands dry during a match. Players can end up going through several wristbands during a match if it is incredibly warm outside. Some people even wear wristbands because it has a little bit of stability and support for their wrist.
If there are any other injury issues, wearing some support can make a difference. Whether it is a strap to help with tennis elbow or an ankle brace, additional accessories make their way onto the tennis court from time to time.
Is The All-White Dress Code a Thing Of The Past?
There are still a lot of people who think of tennis as a club-oriented sport where players are forced to wear white clothing. While that may be true decades ago, it is only applicable to Wimbledon every year. That is the one tournament on a professional level where players must wear mostly white outfits, and they hold onto condition quite a bit.
There is nothing wrong with tradition in a sport, but it is very welcoming to see that there are different clothing options and styles in today’s game. It allows for a bit more individuality as players start to embrace a different type of look on the court to enjoy.